Thursday, March 5, 2009
Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner wants the slots licenses holders to pay for the audits his office is required to do. He has asked the General Assembly to amend the slots law so that slots gaming companies, and not taxpayers, are required to pay for state audits of the casinos. Wagner points out that the Attorney General and state police are being compensated for law-enforcement services resulting from the new casino industry. Wagner says, "We are not seeking special treatment; we are seeking equal treatment. The Department of the Auditor General plays a central role in making sure that Pennsylvania's gaming industry operates legally and that it provides all of the property tax revenue that has been promised to taxpayers." Wagner has already launched the first audit of the casinos and is expected to issue that report this summer. He says once all of the casinos are up and running he will probably have to assign 4 or 5 full time auditors to the task of watching to slots operations. Wagner says at $250,000 to $300,000 a year the slots operators should be able to absorb the costs. Wagner says he could probably just send the licenses holders a bill for the services but he would prefer to have the protection of having it written into the law.